The Bronx continued to burn through money on Friday. Hours after reportedly coming to an agreement to keep All-Star second baseman DJ LeMahieu in New York, the Yankees have reportedly agreed to sign two-time AL Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber to a one-year deal, according to multiple reports.
The deal is for $11 million, pending a physical, according to the New York Post’s Joel Sherman.
Kluber, 34, is trying to bounce back from two-injury filled seasons that saw him make only eight starts. The former Cleveland Indians ace fractured his arm in 2019 and, after an off-season trade to the Texas Rangers, tossed just one inning before succumbing to a shoulder injury in 2020.
Approximately 25 teams attended a showcase that Kluber held Wednesday in Florida. Eric Cressey, who is currently the Yankees director of health and performance, ran the session.
Kluber’s connection to the Yankees doesn’t end with Cressey, however, as he worked with current Yankees pitching coach Matt Blake in Cleveland.
When healthy, Kluber has been one of the top starters in all of baseball. He boasts a 3.16 career ERA in 209 games (204 starts) and has won more than 18 games in a season on four different occasions (2014, 2016-18). He won the 2014 AL Cy Young Award after going 18-9 and pitching to a 2.44 ERA in 235.2 innings. He won the award again in 2017, when he went 18-4 and pitched to a 2.25 ERA in 203 innings. He won 20 games with Cleveland in 2018.
But he struggled in 2019, pitching to a 5.80 ERA in seven starts.
The Yankees are in desperate need of starting pitching depth after allowing Masahiro Tanka, J.A. Happ and James Paxton to test free agency. While all three remain unsigned, the Yankees decided to go with Kluber to add a veteran presence to the rotation mix. After ace Gerrit Cole, New York currently has Jordan Montgomery, Domingo German, Deivi García and Clarke Schmidt as rotation options.
Kluber, if healthy, figures to slot in the middle of the rotation nicely.